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Conflict with ex. Could it be making me physically ill?

(41 Posts)
NickiFury Sun 09-Nov-14 22:13:43

It's at least every couple of days. He will send an innocuous text message usually about dc and somehow it will turn into a massive slagging off (for me). There's no one that can do hand overs and we have to in regular phone contact as both dc have ASD.

It's pointless going into detail but usually it's just the same stuff, I have "milked" him for years (child support), everyone knows what I am like, everyone in his family hates me, they always have, I've got no friends, can't get on with anyone, I'm a shit Mum, I don't put my kids first, this is because I want have a conversation with him at handover (apparently kids need to see us interacting normally) well I tried that for five years and just ended up being insulted (see above).

Thing is I actually feel physically ill after these exchanges, even just by text. Today I am drained and exhausted and feel as depressed as I used to when I was on anti depressants, I get migraines, I get neck and joint pain, sore throats, always after I have had dealings with him. Tomorrow I will wake up and feel ok, then on Wednesday (when he takes dc) it will happen all over again. He just demolishes the boundaries I do put in place.

I suppose I just want to know how others deal with this because it feels really hopeless at the moment and as though I will never be free if it. He's getting remarried soon and I really thought that would improve things (focus off me) but no, if anything it's worse as though he perceives he has totally lost control now even though he decided to get married.

Any thoughts or advice welcome, I haven't posted here about him in years. It feels pretty crap to be here posting about again tbh.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Sun 09-Nov-14 22:20:17

How old are the children?

NickiFury Sun 09-Nov-14 22:24:42

11 and 8.

AlphaBravoHenryFoxtons Sun 09-Nov-14 22:25:39

You could tell him you are going to report the texts to the police if he continues to harass you like that. Tell him to save his love bombing for his new wife. wink

Did you leave him? grin

NickiFury Sun 09-Nov-14 22:36:05

Yes. I threw him out. But he didn't go quietly. We kind of settled into a fairly amicable co-parenting thing with the occasional outburst from him but since news of his impending nuptials came to light he has become horrendous again. Easily as bad as when we were together.

grin At "love bombing".

Wotsitsareafterme Sun 09-Nov-14 23:20:33

My exh is the same. Found the descriptions above quite comforting knowing it's not just him that does it hmm the party about insisting we act normally around the dc is him direct quoted.
I don't know what the answer is but wanted to show some solidarity

happybubblebrain Sun 09-Nov-14 23:33:15

I have been through hell with my ex and the stress has made my health deteriorate.

The only thing I can do that helps is to have total emotional detachment from him. Now, anything he says or does is meaningless, he's just an idiot, his opinion doesn't count, I laugh at how pathetic he is, anything he says to me is just a reflection on him. And a few years from now I won't have to see him ever again.

Avoid, ignore, don't tell him anything, maintain you don't give two hoots what he thinks.

duckwalk Sun 09-Nov-14 23:33:29

You could have written that post about ex was exactly like how you describe. I'd be perfectly fine then contact with him over DD would leave me feeling worthless, ugly, useless, etc etc. I was diagnosed with depression around the time of our separation and amongst other forms of help I had cbt via a psychologist. He couldn't stop my ex being a pathetic wanker but he introduced me to coping mechanisms which helped me deal with the abuse a lot better. He made me stop and really look at the awful things he was saying to me and in time I realised it was just a load of bollocks....I was and am a good mum, I just have to look at my DD to see this. I'm not worthless, I've achieved a lot. Etc.
Sorry, I know that's not really helpful but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone.

MuttonCadet Sun 09-Nov-14 23:39:01

I think that your reaction to him could be making you ill.

But why would you care what he thinks? You have the children the majority of the time, it sounds like he pays CM. He doesn't have any power, you do.

Focus on that, hopefully your anxiety will stop.

duckwalk Sun 09-Nov-14 23:39:41

Oh, and my health suffered too. Obviously there was the depression..... my psychologist had said it was caused by suddenly being free from a terrible, controlling man who abused me in so many ways... physically, emotionally, sexually and financially. When you're in a situation you just get by each day, but once out of it you have time to take a step back and really look at what you went through and survived. When I done this the depression hit me like a ton of bricks! And with the mental torture came the physical symptoms too....headaches, nausea, muscle pain, hair loss, weight gain (comfort eating).
Perhaps you need to visit your gp again? Sounds as though you may be suffering from depression again?
Good luck'll get through this x

Adarajames Mon 10-Nov-14 00:11:57

Yes definitely, stress and upset can make people physically very Ill indeed. Telling him you'll report him may work, maybe speak with someone from relate to see if they can give you any advice

trackrBird Mon 10-Nov-14 01:32:29

There is no doubt in my mind that contact with people like this can drain you, mentally and physically.

So... somehow.... Can you come up with ways to cut contact to an absolute minimum? Communication should be about the children only. When it strays from that topic - hang up immediately. 'This is not about the children, I am not interested', click. Repeat.

If that won't work for you, try something else. Eg, when he starts on you, stuff the receiver under a cushion, or say you can't hear him and can he repeat that? Or go silent. Or turn the radio up. Something. Act bored. Anything so you don't rise to his bait and provide him with an outlet for his bad mood. Anything to help you take back your power!

When you do the handovers, could you arrange for a friend to be with you sometimes?

ArsenicSoup Mon 10-Nov-14 01:38:14


Lweji Mon 10-Nov-14 01:38:26

You don't have to have contact with him. If he persists, you could cut contact between you and him and he'd have to make other arrangements to see his child and have handouts with someone else.

ATM I have two unopened emails from ex, probably ranting after the last incident. I can't be bothered to open them.

ArsenicSoup Mon 10-Nov-14 01:45:43

Just on way to bed. I'll PM you in the morning when I can formulate thoughts better, but from my own experience I think it is a mistake to imagine that the words are rolling off. When I eventually cut all contact with my exh, I felt immeasurably different. I had had no idea how stressed I was. Maybe some halfway measure is possible?

AdoraBell Mon 10-Nov-14 02:12:57

YY, that kind of stress can make you physically ill.

We're visiting ILs in a couple of months and so far I've had 10 days worth of heartburn followed by back pain that now feels like I've been kicked. There will be moré heartburn, migraine, possible dizzy spells, confusión, inabilty To spell when writing and my back will eventualy Go into spasm making walking extremley difficult. Then when we Get home I'll be back To my normal happy relaxed self.

I can't add anything To the advice you've already been given by pps but I really hope you can find a way To lessen the impact he has on you. Maybe once he is married he'll start bullying her instead? <clutches straws>

NickiFury Mon 10-Nov-14 10:04:03

Thanks for your replies. Feel slightly better today but on Wednesday it will all kick off again. I don't think I will ever understand why people behave like this, make it intolerable to be in a relationship with them because they're so abusive yet demand that you continue to interact with them and allow them access to keep abusing you. What level of entitlement must someone have to think like this? It's as though they feel that they own you isn't it?

There's no one else at all to do the handovers and I find that's when it steps up, immediately after when it's done but I haven't interacted with him. Lots of messages telling me how selfish I am being in front of children and how's not about me (note it's never been about me, in 12 years of knowing him) that I am immature, just like my parents (very difficult people, similar to him in fact). And on and on it goes. I try to ignore but it's hard and if I do then it's ringing to speak to the kids, can you put kids on Skype? Don't try and keep me from MY kids?!

It's endless sad. Sorry we are all having to deal with this kind of thing.

happybubblebrain Mon 10-Nov-14 11:56:10

I hope it gets better for you.

Just do your best to have as little contact with him as possible, you don't have to read his messages or respond. Tell him you won't read abusive messages and don't.

Sometimes going on the attack helps a bit, don't let him bully you. Point out his shortfalls the minute he tries to mention what he percieves yours to be. That may or may not help, but worth a try.

It is horrible, but try not to give him any more of your thought time or your emotions.

Lweji Mon 10-Nov-14 19:18:50

I stopped answering exHs phone calls. He knows that I will only respond to texts and emails (when I want to).
And I have been enough of a bitch for him to know that if he oversteps the boundaries, then contact is harder for him. It's all about survival.

3littlefrogs Mon 10-Nov-14 19:22:18

Prolonged, unresolvable stress can make you very ill indeed.
Is there no-one at all that could help you?

Lweji Mon 10-Nov-14 19:23:26

At some point, if there isn't anyone for handovers, it becomes his problem. Not yours.

RedBushedT Mon 10-Nov-14 19:28:36

Definitely possible it is making you ill. I have back problems and they flare up horrifically when my ex is being a shit. Last year, it was so bad I couldn't turn my head properly as my neck seized up!
Recognising that he was actually making me ill actually really helped me to deal with it better.
I have a separate phone and phone number, just for him. (Jokily called the "twatphone") which means that I can choose when to deal with his messages and if he is being an arse, I can switch it off completely but not be isolated from my friends as I still have my own " real " mobile.
Feeling like I have some control over contact has really helped me. Like you, I have children with him, who are in regular contact with him, so no contact is not a viable option.
I also stick to only taking about contact issues. Any digression from that and I just don't reply.
I am a bit more in control, but I can't lie. It was a controlling, emotionally and verbally abusive marriage and he still sadly has the power to fuck with my head. BUT... it is getting easier for me!
Try to put some systems in place so that you can feel like you have some power over the situation.

Twinklestein Mon 10-Nov-14 19:32:10

It's bizarre that his abuse has stepped up because he's getting remarried. If you were getting remarried, I would understand. Maybe he doesn't really want to get married and he's taking it out on you.

Is there any possibility you could hand over your kids to his wife in time?
(Given that they're ASD)

Lweji Mon 10-Nov-14 19:37:16

Maybe he's upset because you're not upset that he is marrying.
Or he's on his best behaviour there for now and has to take it on someone.

Hissy Mon 10-Nov-14 19:40:43

yep, he's trying to goad you.

so if he texts with a legitimate query about the kids, answer it. if not, don't. no matter what he does.

if it crosses a line, report him to the police.

he's getting to you because you're letting him. stop engaging. take the power back!


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